Draft London Plan Panel Report (Supplementary) [5]

Session date: 
September 17, 2003
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

The real issue is how to implement the London Plan, which will deliver sustainable economic growth and environmental improvement in London. Mayor, are you satisfied that TfL are taking all the steps they need to be taking now in order to safeguard the land they will need to take for strategic infrastructure development in London?

I greatly respect the work of the Planning Decisions Unit, who advise you on looking at the borough UDPs and planning applications. Do you think the links are now good enough between TfL forward planning and the implementation through the planning decisions process because it is obviously going to be a crunch moment when London's strategic transport needs meet those detailed local planning decisions? Are you satisfied with the arrangements?

Answer

Answer for Draft London Plan Panel Report (Supplementary) [5]

Answer for Draft London Plan Panel Report (Supplementary) [5]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

In the past, we have tended to rely on a TfL official being present at all my planning meetings and having a direct input into recommendations and all the reports that crop up. What we have just decided to do inside TfL is recognise now that there are so many of these projects. In the rush to just get ahead with the Gateway Bridge and the West London Tram, we relied on establishing special one-off units, bringing in lots of outside consultants and of course we are not, therefore, developing the expertise within TfL to cover this range of issues.

Therefore, we decided to establish a Major Projects Unit that will be permanently staffed and so the same staff will acquire the skills of dealing with the bridge, with the trams and particularly in areas like land assembly and safeguarding planning routes. Those skills will build up and be at the disposal of TfL across this whole range of projects. Taking the most obvious and immediate example, it is going to require quite a substantial amount of money to safeguard the route of Crossrail and acquire the land upon it, even before we start building. So this has moved dramatically up the agenda.